Belfast Telegraph

Teen rape damaged great girl

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, I’ve been seeing a fantastic girl for two months but she confided in me that she was raped as a teen and has had issues with sex ever since.

She told me she doesn’t want to have sex yet but when I asked about her past she told me she slept around and had one night stands? One minute she’s saying she wants to wait and the next she’s telling me she has been promiscuous? Does she just not want to sleep with me?

I’m really falling for her.

Confused Guy

Dear Confused Guy,

Rape can cause psychological and sexual issues but it doesn’t necessarily result in abstinence from sex. If not supported with counselling etc, rape victims can become emotionally numb and indulge in meaningless sex to regain some feelings of control or self-worth because their shattered self-esteem means they don’t value themselves.

Extreme guilt and shame may also mean they feel the need to punish themselves and promiscuity is often a means of doing this.

Punishment can express itself as self-hatred and criticism or putting themselves into dangerous or damaging situations. Your girlfriend obviously trusts you immensely and she must have deeper feelings for you than the other men.

Therefore, appreciate that you’re special and give her the love, support and security she needs until she's ready to become intimate with you.

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